Since the dawn of the iPod, nearly every iDevice to date has made use of Apple’s standard 30-pin connector (excluding some Shuffles and Nanos). Aside from being the proprietary means of data and power, the dock connector has pushed users of Apple products further into the i-ecosystem.
The iPad has always been the largest device to make use of the connector and charges from the base of the tablet when in portrait orientation, however an eBay auction spotted by MacRumours, shows what could well be a dual-dock connector endowed original iPad.
The unreleased 16GB test iPad features two 30-pin connector ports, one on the base and one on the side, presumably for ease of charging and data transfer in either portrait or landscape orientation. The legitimacy of the tablet is of course questionable and with the correct tools and know-how, it would be possible to create your own dual-dock iPad, but there are other signs that point to the authenticity of the device in this instance.
Apple had previously filed a patent ahead of the unveiling of the original iPad detailing a dual-dock design and a number of iPad back plates were spotted with holes cut for dual docks before launch. What’s more, in common with other Apple prototypes, this tablet doesn’t bear typical iPad branding and instead features a prototype reference number on both the front bezel and back plate of the device. There are also placeholders marked with an ‘X’ for the tablets WiFi and battery listings and Apple’s diagnostic test app, Switchboard, features on the device.
The prototype is said to be in near-working order and aside from some necessary touchscreen tweaks, should work perfectly. One enthusiast keen to pick up a piece of Apple history forked out just over $10,000 to nab this tablet. How much would you have been willing to put up?